Public Policy

Department Head

Professor Mark Robbins

Program directors

Assistant Professor in Residence Jennifer Dineen (GPSR) and Associate Professor Daneen Hatmaker (MPA)


Edith Barrett, Amy Donahue, William Simonsen

Associate Professor

Eric Brunner, Thomas Craemer, Ken Dautrich, Douglas Spencer

Assistant Professor

Joshua Hyman, Erin Melton, Kerri Raissian

The Department of Public Policy offers two master’s degree programs: Master of Public Administration and Master of Arts in Survey Research. Also offered are the following Graduate Certificates in: Survey Research, Public Financial Management, Nonprofit Management and Leadership and Public Management.

Master of Public Administration

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program provides students with a dynamitic and integrated approach to the study of public policy and management. The MPA program is committed to preparing students for leadership positions in public policy and management through a personalized education that is both theoretically rich and skills-based. The MPA program is accredited by the Network Association of Schools of Public Administration and Public Affairs (NASPAA). The MPA website is:


Admission to the MPA program is selective. Considerations for admission include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university; a strong academic record; a personal letter addressing your goals and objectives for a career in public service or public policy; current resume; three letters of recommendations; and Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Acceptable TOEFL or IELTS exam scores are required for international students.

The MPA Admissions Committee begins review of applications on February 15th for Fall admission and on November 15th for Spring admission.

Plan of Study

A focused approach is the program’s framework for teaching public management, analytical techniques, and public policy. The curriculum is organized into a set of core courses, a field internship, area of specialization, and a capstone project.

Problem-oriented courses prepare students for decision-making in public management. The program develops the skills managers need to diagnose problems, collect and analyze information, plan, choose among policy alternatives, communicate findings, implement programs and manage change.

Master of Arts in Survey Research

Graduate work in the online M.A. program prepares students to conduct the high-quality survey research that is necessary for decision-making in a variety of fields. The curriculum emphasizes the development of proficiency in all elements of the survey research process including project design and management, questionnaire construction, sampling, methods of data collection, data analysis, and reporting.

Students apply their knowledge in fields such as political polling, market research, public policy, public health, education, communications, and natural resources.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the Master of Arts in Survey Research must possess a Bachelor’s degree to be considered. The application form is available at:

Applications are considered on a rolling basis for fall and spring admission. More information regarding the program can be found at this website:

Inquiries about the program should be made with the director at 860-570-9343 or via email at


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